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Council asks province to name portion of SFPR as 'Delta Connector'

The South Fraser Perimeter Road, which is now open from 176 Street to 136 Street in Surrey, will be completed in Delta by the end of 2013. Delta council would like a portion of the road designated the Delta Connector. - Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
The South Fraser Perimeter Road, which is now open from 176 Street to 136 Street in Surrey, will be completed in Delta by the end of 2013. Delta council would like a portion of the road designated the Delta Connector.
— image credit: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

The Delta portion of the South Fraser Perimeter Road would be called the Delta Connector if council had its choice.

The suggestion to designate a portion of the SFPR as the Delta Connector originally came from Delta's Heritage Advisory Commission, but ultimately the say is up to the province's ministry of transportation and infrastructure.

"When I think of giving directions to someone coming to my house, I'd love to be able to say, well just hop on that Delta Connector and get off at Highway 91," said Coun. Jeannie Kanakos, who led the motion to forward the request to the province during a Jan. 28 council meeting.

In a followup interview, Kanakos said connecting the distant communities of North and South Delta with a superhighway has been a longtime goal of Delta councils and so the name is fitting and appropriate.

Coun. Scott Hamilton, who also voted for the motion, said it will probably wind up being called the Delta Connector whether the province designates it or not.

"My understanding is most of these roads wind up getting a nickname anyway, and I use the East-West Connector as an example of that," said Hamilton of Highway 91A which runs from Richmond to Annacis Island.

But not everyone was in favour. Mayor Jackson said it's not helpful because it doesn't describe where it connects.

"Delta Connector could be any place," she said. "It could be down by Highway 17, it could be the overpass where the farm vehicles are going, it could be anywhere."

Jackson said it's important people understand where such a connector exists for emergency services or people describing an accident location to 911.

Jackson opposed the motion, as did Couns. Robert Campbell and Ian Paton, but was passed by a vote of 4-3.

Delta's Heritage Advisory Commission was consulted by The Gateway Program—the province's SFPR team—for advice in naming three new municipal connections and input in naming two provincial connections which are being created as a result of the new road.

The commission recommended choosing road names that recognize the Japanese and Swedish ancestry of the Sunbury community, as well as the suggestion of the Delta Connector.

However, Gateway staff have indicated that the province is seeking to maintain consistency over the provincial highway network and would likely seek to maintain the recently announced Highway 17 designation. The current Highway 17 which runs from the BC Ferries terminal to Highway 99 will likely be renamed as a local road, and possibly reduced to a single lane in each direction.

The SFPR is slated for completion in December of this year.

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